SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Prosecutors are moving forward with second-degree murder charges in connection with a 2014 Springfield killing, even though the man they are prosecuting was with the victim at the time, and was not the one who fired the deadly shot. District Attorney Anthony Gulluni announced Tuesday that the decision to dismiss charges against Marcus Thomas in the death of 20 year-old Tavis Humphrey-Frazier was reversed by a superior court judge.
According to Jim Leydon, spokesperson for Gulluni’s office, Humphrey-Frazier and Thomas were in a car together, when Thomas fired a gun out the window. People standing at a corner on Knox Street returned fire, hitting Humphrey-Frazier, who died from his wounds.
Prosecutors had argued that Thomas was part of a joint venture that ultimately led to Humphrey-Frazier’s death, but the defense was able to have that dismissed by the court in 2015.
This time, however, the prosecution successfully argued that Thomas is liable, due to the case of Commonwealth v. Robinson-Tejada. Their argument states: “We acknowledge the possibility that, in circumstances where a defendant committing an underlying felony engages in conduct so dangerous that ‘a reasonably prudent person would have known that, according to common experience, there was a plain and strong likelihood that death would follow.’”
In a statement sent to 22News, Gulluni said that they are happy with the judge’s decision “on behalf of the victim’s family and in the interest of justice.”
In addition to the charge of second degree murder with malice, Thomas is also charged with involuntary manslaughter.